News Briefs

Wissam Akiki

Father Wissam Akiki became the first married man to be ordained a priest for the U.S. Maronite Catholic Church on Feb. 27 at St. Raymond’s Maronite Cathedral in St. Louis, Mo. • Thousands lined up at the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus on Feb. 24 in hope of receiving one of the 450 family food parcels handed out by U.N. relief workers. • A survey released Feb. 26, conducted by the Public Religion and Research Institute in Washington, found a dramatic change among U.S. Catholics on same-sex marriage; almost 60 percent now favor it. • In a letter to Congress released on Feb. 26, Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders pleaded for “common-sense fixes” to U.S. immigration policies, noting that the current system “does not reflect our commitment to the values of human dignity, family unity and respect for the rule of law that define us as Americans.” • Bishop Raymond Boland, retired bishop of Kansas City and former bishop of Birmingham, passed away on Feb. 27 in his native Ireland. • The first-ever National Catholic Sisters Week, honoring Catholic sisters who have served faithfully as an integral part of American history, kicked off on the weekend of March 7-9 at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Minn.

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Paul Ferris
4 years 5 months ago
As a former Maronite seminarian from 1962 to 1968 I saw many men leave the seminary over the issue of celibacy. I am glad Pope Francis made this exception, but according to the Maronite Voice, the rule has not changed. This case was considered an exception. The unjust rule since 1920 stands. ,

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